A Web-based Factorial Experiment Testing System (FETS): A Pilot Study

N.W. Schlecht, P. McClean, and B.M. Slator (USA)




This paper describe the results of a pilot study done with the Factorial Experiment Testing System (FETS), a web based system to create, deploy, and analyze factorial experiments involving human subjects using innovative web technologies [1]. Factorial experiments involve multiple factors that are tested and compared simultaneously in study groups. They allow for studies to ask questions that are more complex and for those questions to be answered using a smaller experiment set and testing pool than would otherwise be needed. By using the latest web browser technologies, such as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), and dynamic web content delivery, the system supports experimenter efforts to quickly and interactively design, deliver, and manage complex factorial experiments with any of today's popular web browsers. This allows complex studies to be undertaken with a large number of participants and little administrative overhead. Students in a genetics class were asked to anonymously take part in the pilot study, the results of which are discussed below.

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